People in Suffolk could face checks during latest Covid lockdown, police warn

Police attend the scene of a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle and a car at the junction of Clapgate Lane and Lan...

People in Suffolk could be stopped on the streets by police and asked why they are out - Credit: Archant

People could be stopped on the streets of Suffolk and asked why they are "out and about" during the latest coronavirus lockdown, a senior officer has warned. 

Assistant Chief Constable Rob Jones said policing in the county is "going to get a bit more intrusive" during the UK's third national Covid-19 lockdown. 

ACC Jones said people could be stopped both in vehicles on Suffolk's roads and while walking the streets on foot - and that the force made "no apology" for the checks. 

New assistant chief constable Rob Jones. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

ACC Rob Jones said the force made "no apology" for the checks - Credit: Archant

He said: "We're still going to follow the four E's (Engage, Explain, Encourage and Enforce) but policing is going to get a bit more intrusive in terms of approaching people to ask why they're out and about. 

"We make no apology for police officers asking questions and being inquisitive about why people are out of their homes. 

"I think a lot people have felt that the volumes of traffic still look higher than they were when we last had a lockdown so we're going to make sure that it is for those key reasons that people are out. 

"We won't be doing road blocks in the sense that some parts of the country have, but we will be patrolling main routes and our roads and traffic officers and our local officers will be stopping people to ask so it will be in vehicles and on foot in places."

A police car drives through Ipswich town centre on Boxing Day. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Police in Ipswich town centre on Boxing Day - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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People in Suffolk breaching Covid-19 legislation are also more likely to be fined, ACC Jones added. 

"We're still going to be getting explanations and evidence about why people are out but on the balance during lockdown between giving people final verbal warnings and giving tickets, then people are more likely to be getting a ticket if they choose to take a risk and breach restrictions," he said. 

"We think that's what communities expect now, the risk is growing and it really has grown, even since Christmas. 

"We've still got strong resilience to respond to emergencies and ensure that we keep up our core service to keep people safe, and we do still encourage people to let us know when there are breaches and that we will take action. 

"The vast majority of people have been fantastic in really difficult times, but when people are not, they can expect us to follow up."

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